French Toast Casserole

Here is your Christmas brunch recipe. I’m not trying to be bossy, but this is it. I know, I know, Christmas is about family, friends, time together, blah blah blah. To me, it’s about the food. And let me tell you, I would have been much better off making this recipe for my family of 9 at Christmas, rather than my Dallas family of 2 on a random Sunday. You just simply cannot stop eating this stuff.
The best part about this recipe (well, the second best part – the first best part is the taste) – is that you assemble it the night before, then simply bake it the day of. It is such an easy and stress-free brunch option.
1 loaf french bread (I used a round french boule)
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick cold butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional, but good)
So, start by greasing a 9×13 inch baking dish. Tear your bread into about 3-inch chunks and throw them in the dish.
In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk/cream, sugars, and vanilla.  You can modify the sugar combo if you’d like – I love the flavor of brown sugar so cut down on the white.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread. I think I threw on a few more sprinkles of brown sugar here for fun. Not necessary, but fun.
Cover and put in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight (I did overnight – and it was really fun to think about that marinating in there the whole time).
The next morning, or a few hours later depending on your life choices, preheat the oven to 350 and remove the casserole from the fridge. To prepare the topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, cold butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. I used a hand mixer for this, but I think a pastry cutter would have been more appropriate. I don’t have one of those, since I was born in the 80s.
 Pour the topping over the casserole, and then bake for 50 minutes.
Scoop out the casserole in ginormous sized portions, and top with whatever feels right. We did bananas and maple syrup. And I think that will be my dinner this evening.
 Merry Christmas!


  1. Jen - December 20, 2011

    Because I was born in the 80's! Nice. Loving the blog, Gretchen! Now I just have to start making some of this stuff instead of only reading about it and imagining eating it! (although that is fun, too…)

  2. gebraley - December 21, 2011

    Thanks Jen! And thanks for following me – even if you haven't started making any of it yet!

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